How Fortune Brands Manages Strategic Messages With Smartsheet
“Our process is Smartsheet. Our lifeline to what is happening across our organization is Smartsheet. This is how we manage content.” —Erin Libardoni, Corporate Communications Manager
Keeping a workforce of approximately 23,000 connected and productive is a challenge for any company; for Fortune Brands Home & Security — whose workforce extends across multiple countries and whose brands include Master Lock, Therma-Tru Doors, and Moen — solving that challenge is critical.
To make it easy for employees — especially mobile workers who don’t have company email or a computer — to get regular updates on topics including benefits, cybersecurity alerts, and other critical information, Fortune developed a mobile app called Connect.
When the app launched in 2016, Fortune Brands’ corporate communications manager Erin Libardoni saw tremendous potential, but knew that its success would depend on her team’s ability to drive a regular cadence of engaging content into the app — and that Smartsheet would be her key to success.
“My specific role is to develop associate content internally through the app and also present some of that information externally,” Libardoni says. “I’m managing content across several channels. We needed to centralize that process to save time and maximize resources, and I thought Smartsheet would be a great way for us to organize our corporate communications.”
Libardoni worked with Smartsheet in a previous role and knew it would be possible to set up a tracking sheet with categories for key messages that mattered to her team and to company stakeholders. Drawing on skills she’d learned in earlier Smartsheet Academy sessions, she also created formulas to build in automation — for example, categorizing a piece of content for social media instantly populates an “external” field to use for amplification.
Other Smartsheet features her team relies on include:
- At-a-glance reporting and status tracking, a crucial part of the content calendar. Libardoni and her team can quickly see which stories are complete and ready for posting, which are still in approval or drafting stages, and who’s following up on any outstanding questions.
- Color coding and drop-down selectors, which make it easy to see which story categories are publishing for any given day, week, or month, and when and where the highest-priority content is being featured.
- A Smartsheet-based content calendar enables her team of three to easily collaborate with writers in disparate locations as well as content experts throughout Fortune Brands’ operating companies. She can filter by category to show benefits staff or IT colleagues what content is planned for their areas.
“Because our brands are growing and our company is growing, it’s critical for us to know on a given day what messages are going out. Smartsheet has helped us to organize and manage our strategic communications across a multitude of channels."
Connect has been a big hit with Fortune Brands associates, who can now get the latest company news without having to access a computer workstation. Libardoni gives credit to the technology partner that helped them build and deploy Connect, but she also recognizes that employees won’t open the app if they’re not being engaged by the content within.
“I know our success with the app is foundationally based on our content," Libardoni says. "It’s really our lifeline to what’s happening across the company. I’m in it every single day. When we meet with key stakeholders across the organization, it drives conversations.”
Company leaders are also thrilled with both the app’s success and the ease of using Smartsheet to drive a steady flow of brand and employee content. The corporate team is adopting Smartsheet to manage government and public policy engagement, and managers for several of the individual operating companies want to learn more about how to use it for their own communications and workflows. Libardoni plans to schedule more Smartsheet Academy sessions to learn new capabilities — and to keep one step ahead of the future needs of her colleagues.
“This is our single source of truth,” Libardoni says. “Our process is Smartsheet. Our lifeline to what is happening across our organization is Smartsheet. This is how we manage content.”
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